No one does it like I do: Meet the Tamaraw trendsetter

FEU Advocate
February 12, 2024 15:36

By Nichola Gayle D. Manguerra

It comes as no surprise to anyone that Filipinos are naturally gifted in categories other than singing. While some would argue that gathering likes on TikTok is quite an easy feat, the talent it takes to start a trend that breaks through international borders is a whole other conversation of perseverance, something that Tamaraw Rizelle Anne Disono has accomplished.

Given TikTok's huge societal influence, many people have taken themselves to the platform in hopes of gathering likes and creating trends. However, only some have a success story like that of third-year Psychology student Rizelle Anne Disono.

Disono has been posting dance choreography videos on TikTok for quite some time. Despite having posted her choreography last November, the dancer’s video was brought back to life when several known figures came to cover her choreography. 

In an interview with FEU Advocate, she expressed that she never expected the popularity of her choreography of J. Tajor’s “Like I Do” would garner. 

In fact, the reception of her dance trend went so far internationally that even well-known K-pop groups such as ENHYPEN, IVE, Seventeen, ZEROBASEONE, BoyNextDoor, and NCT posted their cover of Disono’s choreography. 

To this date, over 200,000 videos have been posted using her original video’s sound and choreography.

“Every time po kasi na gumagawa ako ng choreo, ... hindi po ako masyadong kumukuha ng mga steps na usually na ginagamit sa TikTok. So, parang gumagawa po talaga ako ng ‘Ano kayang bagong pwede kong maipakita na step?’ na hindi po usual para at least, uhm, ‘pag sumikat po ‘yung sayaw meron po akong parang trademark (Everytime I make my own choreo, ... I don’t really take steps that are usually used on TikTok. So, everytime I make one, “What kind of new steps can I show?” that isn’t usual so that at least, if the dance gets attention I would have my own trademark), Disono said when asked how she sets her choreography apart from thousands already posted on the platform.

According to the resident Tamaraw dancer, her passion for dancing began in kindergarten after being influenced by her cousin who was also a dancer then. 

Since then, Disono has only further developed her skills. Now with college added to her schedule, she explained that she films and edits her TikTok videos in between breaks with her friends who are also dancers. 

When asked about her message to people who wish to establish their name on their chosen art in an era of declining art forms, Disono advised that people should focus on what they are interested in rather than look at the trends.

The psychology student emphasized that a person’s natural talent and passion for their art is what sets them apart from other people. 

She also added that patience and determination are needed when trying to create a person’s trademark.

“Gawin nila kung saan sila interested. Kasi doon din po nag-uumpisa ‘yun, eh (They should do what interests them. That’s usually where it starts),” Disono said.

Despite the declining age of art and its forms through the rise of digital media, Filipinos have, by more than one way to ensure that new talents will continue to flourish, taken creative liberties with their craft. 

Disono’s choreography dance videos that have amassed popularity on TikTok are a testament that her rise to fame is not a mere coincidence, but evidence that Filipinos and Tamaraws alike should pour their time, dedication, and endurance to perfect and polish their skills; that to cement a place in a world full of trends being copied left and right, sometimes, going against the flow and being true to a person’s interests is the way to go.